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WAMAS Tank of the Month

First, Thanks so much. My tank doesn’t really deserve this yet; it is really still too young, but I am really excited to share it with everyone.

When I remodeled my house in 2011, I planned for an in-wall tank for the living room with a fish room behind it. The display tank is Leishman’s old tank. It’s a 250g deep dimension euro-braced glass tank, measuring 65 x 36 x 25. The display is a bare bottom sps and zoanthid dominated tank. It has only had livestock in it for 5 1/2 months so most of the sps are still small frags. Behind the scenes is a 100g sump and four stacked 20g gallon tanks, all plumbed together. The top 20g is a refugium and the 2nd 20g currently has non-photosynthetic corals. The bottom two 20’s are intended to raise Banggai cardinal fish and frags but so far all they do is grow lots and lots of algae.

I have two returns powered by a Reeflo Dart pump. Most of the flow is accomplished by 3 MP40’s running at maximum intensity on nutrient export mode. It is amazing how clean they keep the bottom. I have little to no detritus accumulation.

The DT has 3 Ecotech Radion LEDs. One of the goals of this tank is to see if I can create a high-end sps tank with LEDs. I am committed to these lights for 2 years and increase the duration and intensity every two months. They currently only reach 70% intensity for about 4 hours. They are also mounted about 12 inches above the water (as opposed to the recommended 8 inches) to increase the spread. So far I am VERY happy with the results, but only time will tell.

Filtration is accomplished with filter socks, an ASM G3 skimmer, live rock and lots and lots of macro algae.

I only dose Alk. So far calcium is maintained by water changes. Haven’t tested Mag yet. I’ll go do that now.

I have 6 tangs (regal, yellow, caribbean blue, tomini, kole and scopas), 3 swallowtail angels, 4 lyretail anthias, 6 blue chromis, 2 clownfish, 2 bluesided wrasses, 2 red velvet fairy wrasses, 1 linespot wrasse, 1 cleaner wrasse, 1 Bangaii cardinal, 3 skunk cleaner shrimp, 1 fire shrimp, 3 bubble tip nems. Corals are mostly sps and zoas with a few random lps and ricordea. I don’t know any names. I am partial to montipora undata.

I feed the DT twice a day. Usually Jan’s food, PE Mysis, cocktail shrimp, and macro algae. I feed the non-photosynthetic tank 5 or 6 times a day with a variety of filter feeding foods. This is the source of my nitrate and phosphate trouble. The NPS tank may have to go off-line.

Challenges? How much time do you have? My biggest problem right now is insufficient flow through the stacked 20g tanks. The return of the bottom 20g tank has a tortuous route back to the sump with too many right angles. The reduced flow means that there is not enough turnover to maintain a frag tank, tons of algae growth, and frequent floods. I am considering giving over all of those tanks to macro algae and Banggai breeding and setting up a separate frag tank. But I change my mind every day.

  • Salinity: 1.025
  • Temperature: 76 - 80°F
  • Calcium: 470 ppm
  • Phosphate: 0.6 ppm
  • Nitrate: 0ppm

  • Display - 250g
  • Sump - 100g
  • Additional tanks - 80g
  • Skimmer - ASM G3
  • Lighting - Radion LED
  • Controller - Aquacontroller Apex
  • Return Pump - ReeFlo Dart